Some of the documents authorized for seizure were related to three bank transfers from Ivanhoe to the Swiss bank account from 2015 to 2018 of Stucky Technologies, a Swiss engineering firm, to work with Congo’s state electricity company on hydropower supplies for Ivanhoe’s Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), The Globe and Mail reported.
The headline stated that the Ivanhoe Mines’ office in Vancouver had been searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s federal police force.
After its introduction, the story reported that the police search took place more than one year ago and was publicly disclosed by Ivanhoe Mines on March 30, 2022. Ivanhoe said it cooperated with the search in November 2021 and that no charges have been laid against the company or its directors or employees and that no financial provision has been made in relation to the matter.
The Sentry’s report examined the miner’s control of deposits in the DRC’s copper belt, alleging that Ivanhoe received preferential treatment when Congolese authorities extended its exploration licences.
Ivanhoe’s statement, issued by billionaire founder Robert Friedland, said both reports “include incomplete, selective and speculative content pertaining to Ivanhoe Mines’ business activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and mineral exploration investments on its Western Foreland Exploration Project.”
Ivanhoe has an interest in three projects in the DRC, the Kamoa-Kakula Complex in a joint venture with Zijin Mining Group and the Government of the DRC; the Kipushi Project, in a joint venture with state-owned Gécamines; and the Western Foreland Exploration Project. The miner said it conducts its business in alignment with national and international laws, including in its partnering with DRC shareholders where required by law.
Ivanhoe said both reports “are irresponsibly framed to infer or theorize that some form of corporate malpractice involving Ivanhoe’s Western Foreland Exploration Project took place,” and added, “they lack any tangible evidence that misconduct occurred.”
The miner said The Globe and Mail’s story failed to note that the search warrant obtained in 2021 by the RCMP was not related to Kamoa-Kakula or any of Ivanhoe Mines’ other mineral projects. Ivanhoe noted it is continuing its cooperation with the RCMP investigation, but because it is an ongoing matter, Ivanhoe Mines is making only limited comments regarding the investigation in this public statement.
Ivanhoe said The Sentry report “demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the DRC mining code, the mining industry, and Ivanhoe’s Western Foreland Exploration Project.”
“The Sentry organization promotes itself as “an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy,” Ivanhoe said.
The miner also said t is unclear how this relates in any way to Ivanhoe Mines’ history of exploration activities, what expertise the organization has in terms of mineral exploration and development, or the DRC as a mining jurisdiction.
Ivanhoe Mines said it invites The Sentry to visit its operations and witness partnership in the DRC first-hand.
Read the full statement here.